Women's World Cup Quarterfinal FT France 1 - 2 USA: Rapinoe brace powers USA to semifinal, France knocked out

While a spirited header from Wendie Renard gave the host hope, a brace from Megan Rapinoe helped USA cruise into the semifinal of the Women's World Cup. The defending champion will meet England in the semis on Tuesday.

Rapinoe Henry

Megan Rapinoe's brace has put USA firmly in control in its quarterfinal tie against France in the Women's World Cup.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.

This is Lavanya and I am back with LIVE updates from the quarterfinal of the Women's World Cup.

The game we have today is easily the match of the tournament, with two pre-tournament favourites taking each other on for a place in the semifinals. Whoever wins will trigger an upset, so its no surprise then that this game is being called Le Grand Match.

The winner of this tie will take on England in the semifinal in Lyon on Tuesday.


Follow the game LIVE:

That's all from me, folks. See you all soon! Goodbye and goodnight from us at Sportstar.

What a game this has been! We will now see USA in action again on Tuesdsy as they take on the Lionesses in Lyon. We still have two quarterfinal games to go before that. Italy takes on Netherlands in Valenciennes and Germany takes on Sweden in Rennes later today.  My colleagues Amal and Anirudh will be bringing those games to you so make sure you join us for those games.

The hosts' tournament has come to an end, but the US has now reached the semi-final for the eighth consecutive tournament.

It will face England in the next round on Tuesday. The United States holds on to beat France 2-1 to reach the semi-finals.

Rapinoe gave the US an early lead after she struck a low free-kick through the crowd of players in the box and into the back of the net. France didn't register a shot on target in the first half but improved in the second half and were causing the current holders problems. Against the run of play though, Rapinoe got her second when she latched onto Heath's cross and fired the ball past Bouhaddi. Renard did pull one back for France late on with a brilliant header, but it ended up just being a consolation.

Records galore in this USA win. France is heartbroken. Not only are the hosts knocked out, their 2020 Olympics hopes also seem all but over. 
 

FT FRANCE 1 - 2 USA

 

90'+4' Bussaglia is shown a yellow card after catching Morgan with a late challenge.

Oops. I think some of us got our politics figured out all wrong. Here's some help.

 

My colleague Dominic, who is currently blogging the Copa America quarterfinal, is not happy with the decisions going in favour of the USA. He is also not happy with France's "choker" tag. What do you think of that?

This is a France home game and I hear 'USA-USA'.

90'+1'
Into the first of five minutes of added time now and O'Hara is trying to keep the ball in the corner for the US. She's crowded out by two French defenders though and they quickly win back possession for their side.

5 minutes of added time now. Can USA sustain? Will France equalise?

The offside decisions have been bad for our blood pressure today. As this wise tweet says though, a few millimeters or meters off, offside is offiside.



Between all the drama, Lloyd has come in for Mewis and Press has come in for Rapinoe. Does USA anticipate the game going into extra time? Can USA maintain its lead?

Oh. Possible handball but the referee is having none of it.

Renard and her headers, what a love story.

81' RENARD PULLS ONE BACK FOR FRANCE!
Nobody was picking her up on the free-kick as she ran onto the cross and she just glances the ball over Naeher and into the back of the net. 2-1!

79'
GREAT SAVE BY NAEHER! Le Sommer stretches ahead of Heath to get on the end of Majri's cross and chips her effort towards goal. It looks like it's dipping under the crossbar, but Naeher backtracks quickly to tip it over the crossbar.

78'
GOOD CHANCE FOR HENRY! O'Hara gives the ball away on the edge of her own box and Henry is running onto it. She hits the shot first time, but it's straight at Naeher who saves it.



72'
France has looked deflated since conceding the second goal and its passing has slowed right down in the last few minutes.

Rapinoe was hesitating to celebrate there for a second but her fist pumps by the corner say it all. What a tournament she has had. Megan Rapinoe is now joint top scorer in this tournament with team-mate Alex Morgan, England's Ellen White and Australia's Sam Kerr.

65' RAPINOE GETS HER SECOND
! It's completely against the run of play but the US has a second goal! The French defence was stretched as Heath squared the ball into the box from the right. Morgan misses it but it rolls through to Rapinoe who was unmarked and slotted her shot into the back of the empty net. 2-0 United States!

Turns out, the special one can smile. But France doesn't have much reason to right now.

100

The special one can smile   -  Getty Images




64'
GREAT CHANCE FOR GAUVIN! The forward rises highest to get on the end of Majri's cross and flicks the ball on target with the back of her head. It's looping into the back of the net, but Naeher gets across her line quickly to deny her.

Horan is no stranger to the Parc des Princes. She's an ex-PSG player. The crowds won't be too kind to her today though.

Lavelle makes way for Lindsey Horan.

58'
Oh, my word! What a tussle that, between Diani and Dunn! That one-on-one was troubling and Diani managed to get the ball across to Le Sommer through Guavin. Le Sommer attacked the goal twice but found the sides each time. Her face tells the story. Good opportunity, unfortunate miss.

France is itching to score. Henry, Le Sommer and Diani are all getting impatient and are on overdrive to try and create those chances. USA, oddly quiet after halftime.

54'
The US is moving the ball upfield with a lot of pace, but has been caught out by France's high line a couple of times this half already. Heath is the latest player to be caught offside as she tried to get on the end of Ertz's throughball.

52'
Henry is a long way from goal when the ball bounces to her and she sets herself before hitting the strike on the volley. It's heading towards goal, but Sauerbrunn makes an important block on the edge of the box.

I am not sure what's giving me the chills - the shocks in this game or our brutally strong air-conditioning. Talking about air-conditioning, how is the heat, my dear friends in France? Chennai never gets an opportunity to brag but we've had rains after a long dry spell. Perfect weather for some hot coffee. Let me make a quick trip to the kiosk.

46'
GREAT DOUBLE SAVE BY BOUHADDI!  Mewis has the first shot and strikes it low to the bottom corner, but the keeper gets down quickly to palm it away. Heath latches onto the loose ball and sends her effort towards the near post, but Bouhaddi is across quickly to make the save with her boot.

45' And we're back for the second half. USA will want to net one early to maintain that lead. France needs a goal now, to peg one back in this tie.

I was a little skeptical about Lindsey Horan not starting but Mewis and Ertz have done well to contain the French midfield. It is going to be a little counterproductive for the US to sit on this lead. Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer will come out of this halftime break itching to change the look of the scoreline. Will we see an equaliser and a recovery or another story of dominance from the US? We'll know as we return for the second half in a few minutes. Time for refreshments.

HT FRANCE 0 - 1 USA


Talking about Donald Trump, a lot of attention was giving to the Trump-Rapinoe controversy ahead of this game. If you've missed that enter wave online, I've got you covered. Click here to know more.
 

Diani's finishing needs some work. She's able to create those chances and fight to take the ball to the post, but not finish the job. Oh my, I sound like Trump.

We've seen Diani produce some incredible speed and she has been effective for the French for the very same reason. She and France however, need to remember that this is an opposition that can match them, every step of the way, and in many cases, do better.



40' France is carefully planning this free kick but but Naeher is quickly off her line to reach it first.

38'
The fans around the Parc des Princes are starting to get frustrated as France is struggling to get in behind the US. It's trying to force its passes through to the forward players and the US is easily clearing its lines at the minute.

That's two free kicks to France now.
Morgan isn't happy with the referee. Loud boos from the crowd. Thankfully for the players, no cards come out.

36'
The US sloppily gives away possession to France and it now has a chance to break on the counter-attack. Diani tries to chip her pass to Henry, but overhits it and sends it straight out of play.

34'
France is starting to get into its rhythm now and looks a lot more comfortable on the ball than earlier in the game. All of its possession is in midfield at the minute though as it can't find a way past the US defenders.

30'
Morgan is down receiving treatment for a knee injury after she landed awkwardly during an aerial challenge. She looks uncomfortable but will be able to carry on.  She is gulping down water here. Staying hydrated is so important for these girls here in Paris. The weather through the tournament has been very difficult to keep up with for the players. It feels unreal that thunderstorms were ever part of the weather graph here.

USA is playing the kind of attacking football we have all expected them to keep up all through the tournament. A quarterfinal is a good day to come back into character.

28'
It's an open game here, even though USA looks a little more confident. US is closing France down high up the field to try and force it into a mistake. France is dealing with the pressure well though to keep the ball.

18'
Henry decides to have a go from long range when she picks up the ball on the edge of the box. Her effort is well of target though as it flew over the crossbar. We know shes capable of this long shots. USA will be wary of Amandine Henry.

This match is crucial for France, not just because a loss means an elimination from the World Cup, but also because it will deny them a shot at qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Only the three best European teams will proceed and France needs a win here to keep that hope alive. Talk about pressure!

13' GOOD CHANCE FOR LE SOMMER! Majri puts a brilliant cross into the box to pick out Le Sommer at the far post and the forward rises well to get on the end of it. She can't direct her effort on target though and it's wide of the post.

USA has scored within the first 12 minutes of each of its five matches in this World Cup so far.

Here's a breakdown of the minutes of all of the US' opening goals at France 2019

v Thailand: 12

v Chile: 11

v Sweden: 3

v Spain: 7

v France: 5


We have a vocal crowd in the house tonight. You really can't tell it's a home game at this rate, honestly.

France is keeping possession well at the minute as it just slows down the pace of the game. Most of its passes have been in its own half and the US is happy to sit back for now.

9' Rapinoe whips a corner deep into the box for the US to try and pick out Heath at the far post. It's just too high for her to bring down though and it bounces straight out of play.

USA has found the net within the first 12 minutes every time in this World Cup. Today, it didn't have to wait beyond the first five.

Teams scoring first in the knockout have gone on to win on every occassion. Oh no, France?

5' GOAAAAL. Rapinoe whips in a free-kick that skirts past all of the France and USA players and slides by Bouhaddi for the opening goal. Four pairs of legs this ball has managed to sneak through. Simple and neat. Rapinoe has her arms open to the crowd. Only the second goal in this World Cup to come from a direct free kick.

1' EARLY CHANCE FOR THE US! Rapinoe does really well to dribble the ball forward to reach the edge of the box where she squares a pass to Ertz who hits it first time. It's a powerful shot, but it's straight at the keeper who makes a comfortable save.

1' Kickoff. Gauvin gets the game underway for France!

Our referee for the day is a star in her own right. She is one of the best referees in the world and officiated that thrilling (and heartbreaking, depending on who you support) final between USA and Japan four years ago - Ukraine's Kateryna Monzul.

I have a disciplinary update for you. Several players playing today are a yellow card away from missing their next game. France's Wendie Renard, Eugenie Le Sommer and Valerie Gauvin and USA's Kelley O Hara, Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long need to be careful today.

One of the first observations from the game has to be the spectator population. USA fans have turned out in large numbers to rally behind their girls. This promises to be a thrilling 90 minutes. Are you listening, Dutch fans?

The anthems have begun. Not long before kickoff.

USA is fielding an unchanged lineup from its game against Spain. France has made a change in its starting XI. Thiney comes in for Asseyi.

Lineups are out. Scroll down to see who will start for the host and the defending champion.

TEAM NEWS

FRANCE: Bouhaddi, Torrent, Mbock, Bathy, Renard, Majri, Henry, Thiney, Bussaglia, Diani, Gauvin, Le Sommer

USA: Naeher, O'Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn, Lavelle, Ertz, Mewis, Heath, Morgan, Rapinoe


Action moves to Paris today. We're seeing temperatures of around 30 degrees now. Normal for us in India, but the French are melting.

A challenging but fun day of football beckons so let's get straight to it. Here are a few facts and figures to get you prepped for the game.
 

Talking points: FRANCE vs USA

Ahead of the game, we managed to dig out some numbers and facts that will keep you going until kickoff.

- Did you know: The last time USA played on this exact day, June 28, was back in 2011. It was its first matchday of the tournament and USA beat Korea DPR 2-0. This game also saw three debutants - Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

- This is the first time USA takes on the host team of a Women's World Cup.

- H2H: France and USA have quite a record against each other. The sides have clashed 24 times before. The Americans lead 17-4 in terms of victories. There have been three draws. I wonder which side of the scale tonight will add to. However, in their last three encounters, France has two wins and a draw - a slight upper hand. The two teams clashed most recently in Le Havre in January this year, where France won 3-1.

- World Cup H2H: This is the teams’ second meeting in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, following a 3-1 semi-final victory to USA in 2011.

- Penalty shootout record: USA has contested three penalty shoot-outs in the tournament's history. It won two - the 1999 Final against China and the 2011 quarterfinal against Brazil. However, It lost the 2011 Final to Japan. France too, has had a mixed run with penalty shootouts. It won one against England in 2011, but lost another to Germany in 2015; both in the quarterfinals. France did claim its first win extra-time win though, in this tournament, when it beat Brazil in the Round of 16.